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Getting the Therapy
Implanting a cardioverter defibrillator is a defense against sudden cardiac death. The device constantly monitors the rhythm of your heart, detects irregular rhythms, and automatically delivers the most appropriate type of therapy when needed.
Your doctor will use specific criteria to determine if you are a potential candidate for an ICD.
Several types of doctors specialise in treating people at risk of sudden cardiac arrest. A good first step is to see your primary care doctor or GP.
Your healthcare team will walk you through the surgical process, which includes important steps before, during, and following the procedure to implant an ICD.
In general, most people who are candidates for an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) to treat sudden cardiac arrest have one or more of the following risk factors:
As with any medical treatment, there are risks associated with device therapy. We encourage you to print this information and discuss ICD therapy with your doctor.
Several types of doctors specialise in treating people with heart conditions. A good first step is to see your primary care doctor or GP.
Continue to work with your doctor to manage all aspects of your total healthcare. He or she may advise you to see one or more of these specialists to manage your heart condition:
Your specialist will typically send back full reports to your primary care doctor who knows your entire medical history and is a key partner in the long-term management of your heart condition.
Implanting an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) is not an open-heart procedure. Before the surgery medication is usually given to make you sleepy and comfortable. The procedure can be performed under local or general anaesthesia.
You will usually stay in the hospital overnight and go home the next day with instructions on caring for your incision. For a short time after surgery, your doctor may want you to limit how much you move the arm that is closer to the implant site.
Information on this site should not be used as a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.